Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Webb: When First We Practice to Deceive


Just last November we heard that the James Webb Space Telescope was at least 1.5 billion over it's 5 billion budget. At the time it needed an immediate 500 million to meet a launch date of 2016. What a Tangled Webb We Weave. At the beginning of this week we learned that LISA and IXO, two surviving mission concepts from NASA's Beyond Einstein program, would lose all funding due to the mounting costs of JWST. WFIRST, formerly JDEM/SNAP/DESTINY, an ill-starred attempt to quantify "dark energy," was deferred indefinitely. Monday April 11, in testimony before a US Senate committee, Charlie Bolden said NASA doesn't want any extra funds for JWST. He implied that the telescope will not fly until at least 2018. Once we had a goal to reach the Moon in this decade, but Bolden and his boss seem willing to let the Moon slip away too.

The longer a Space project takes to fly, the more costs mount. JWST was originally estimated to cost about 1 billion, but will cost over 6.5 billion. When a "dark energy" mission was first proposed, it was also to cost less than a billion. It is common in government to low-ball the cost estimates to get a project started. WFIRST would take at least 7 years to develop after JWST launches, so the dream of a "dark energy" mission slips again to after the year 2025.

The hypothesis of an accelerating universe is based entirely on the redshifts of Type Ia supernovae. The cosmic microwave background, dating from only 380,000 years after the Big Bang, tells us nothing about acceleration. Redshifts are roughly equal to v/c, an objects velocity divided by the speed of light. A child could figure out what hundreds of physicists have overlooked: the universe is not accelerating, but light has been slowing down. Long before any "dark energy" mission flies, there will be evidence of a real "c change" in Physics.

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14 Comments:

Blogger Kea said...

I guess babies learn to deceive before they learn to speak. But when do people learn to practice deceit as a way of life? I believe it is largely a cultural problem, because the current golden calf worship is an unsustainable process.

11:58 AM  
Blogger L. Riofrio said...

Great comment! Science has a lot of golden calves: strings, inflation, dark energy,...Like good deceivers, scientists have even convinced themselves that these things exist. So dark energy may not be deliberate fraud, but a mass delusion.

6:00 PM  
Blogger Kea said...

Yes, it does appear to be a mass delusion. I guess the idea of leaving behind the mathematical techniques (eg. traditional GR with a constant c) of a long career can be a little frightening for some. And then there is the problem of the "it's not my problem" attitude. When I was a student/postdoc I was regularly told that it was not my job to work on real physics, because theorists just played with maths. Um, whose job is it then?

6:25 PM  
Blogger L. Riofrio said...

Some people will hang on to fixed c until they are in the ground. That generation is getting on in years, and there will be room for younger scientists.

5:24 AM  
Blogger DV said...

Greetings, Lady L:

I could use your assistance if you will be so kind.

I have mentioned to a few people that inflation violates the speed of light limitation, and they have countered that the limitation applies to objects traveling through space, but not space itself.

This seemed to beg the following question: what about the entire universe inflating as claimed by the theory? Wouldn't this impact the matter even if space is somehow not affected by the limitation?

Finally I came across a "partial response" via Paul Davies' "The Goldilocks Enigma." On page 60 of the paperback edition, Davies admits/claims that all of the matter prior to the inflationary period would be "diluted to a negligible density" by inflation, but he then goes on to write that the extra energy (wherever that came from) stored up via inflation would end up as heat, and that such heat is more than enough to "create" all of the 10^50 tons of matter in the observable universe. He did not state where the extra heat beyond what was needed to create the matter went.

Your insights concerning these and similar claims will be greatly appreciated as I am also battling away in favor of the light speed drop and so on, so more ammunition is needed to counter the claims set forth above.

Many thanks!

DV

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